Maggie Smith Photo

Image courtesy of Maggie Smith /

There is a lyric that sometimes stubbornly bounces around my head thanks to Jimmy Buffet: “Wasting away again in Margaritaville.” Sometimes the lyric triggers nostalgia and a wish to return to simpler days when relaxing with a drink was still fun. But mostly, these days, it reminds me that each day is a special gift and I need to be careful not to get lost in mundane “activities of daily living” to the point that I forget to appreciate the gift. A friend of mine reminded me of this as we left a meeting this week. We were complaining about our aches and pains, and I remarked I didn’t like getting old at all. He replied to me, “It’s better than the alternative.” Of course, I’ve heard and said that before, but this time it hit home.

In Day By Day (Anonymous, 1974, on the page for September 23), the following meditation is printed:

“It is so easy for us to fall into a pattern of self-pity that we sometimes waste the best parts of our lives. The waste of life lies in the love we have not given, the experiences we have not used, the selfishness that will risk nothing, and the fear that blocks us from other people.”

This quote points me in the right direction whenever I am get bogged down in self-pity or worry about something I cannot control. This morning (and last night) I wasted my life by worrying about a fire in Huerfano County, Colorado, close to where my mobile home and acreage are located. I worried about the family that manages the property for me, I worried about the people that rent from me, I worried about losing the mobile home itself, I worried about the beautiful country in the high desert that was burning, I worried about the trees that would take decades to grow back, I worried about the wild life that lives in the high desert… list could go on and on. Fortunately, I had enough “recovery sense” to take a deep breath, to ask God to handle it, and to say a special prayer for everyone to be able to get to safety.

Reading the above “Day By Day” quote also reminds me of the 2007 film, “The Bucket List, ” a movie that emphasized the importance of seeking “experiences we have not used” when we realize our own death is  inevitable. It is, I think, equally important, if not more important, to go beyond seeking experiences——to give all the love we can, to work at overcoming our fears., and to fight our tendency to isolate from others. To apply this to myself, I need to love more, fear less, and risk more as I interact in relationship with others…..these are the gifts of life that are most precious because these are the gifts that connect me to God and to God manifested in self and others.

Your thoughts and comments are welcomed. May God bless and keep you.